Our concept

Our culinary PHILOSOPHY

food, friends, wine

Our concept is pure and robust and builds on refined and distinctive flavours. Inspired by historic Albanian gastronomy, Bistro Illyrian offers modern and delicious dishes to share! 

Our dishes are prepared with love and patience, infused with special herbs and spices. The finest vegetables, organic meat, poultry and fresh fish form the basis of our dishes.

It is prepared in a unique Harrison charcoal oven, custom-made in London for Illyrian, resulting in the perfect texture and a deliciously smoky and authentic taste.

Together with a delicious selection of wines, carefully selected by our team and our special wine merchant Piet Neyt.

Albanian Ancient Social Code

The house of an Albanian belongs to God and to the guest. Every hour of the day and night, a man must be ready to receive a gust with bread, salt, and an open heart!

Van harte,

team Illyrian

Our story

All we had was a dream and ambition ... 

Besmira & Fation are the two strongmen behind Bistro Illyrian!

Fation, a passionate and experienced chef, is the inspirer of Illyrian. Besmira, with her creative mind and passion for good food, has many years of experience as Fation's right-hand woman at Ella's & M Catering, Illyrian's sister company. 

Egzon strengthens our duo. With his eye for detail, he manages everything outside the kitchen. Together, they form "the three musketeers".

Today, they are building on this momentum as a team and Fation's dream of having their own restaurant where everyone can enjoy all the goodies they offer is becoming reality. 

Would you like to enjoy pure pleasure in a cosy environment with friendly service? Then come along! You can find us at Francois Laurentplein 8 in Ghent.

  • Fation Aliu

    Fation Aliu

    The boy who fled Albania alone when he was just 14: he worked as a dishwasher – the start of an illustrious dishwashing career. Fation Aliu, born in 1986. This boy, who had loved cooking since he’d watched his mother do it, finally went to culinary school, worked in fine dining restaurants. From then on he wanted only one thing: to bring respect to Albanian cuisine as the culinary voice of a forgotten country. Fation combines his Albanian heritage with the skills he’s learned in Belgium.
  • Besmira Muriqi

    Besmira Muriqi

    Zaakvoerder /Sous-chef de cuisine
    Besmira, born in 1993, Albania and raised in Belgium. Three years ago I had “a do-or-die moment”: if I couldn’t find creative job in Ghent then I’d move to London. I had no strategy or plan. Thankfully, “trying things out for myself” was my main MO in life. All the random temp jobs I’d worked to make ends meet helped me pinpoint what I liked to do. I wanted to do something hands-on and creative”. When I connected the dots. There was one industry that always intrigued me: FOOD !
  • Egzon


    Egzon is the maître d'hôtel, but he prefers the title of “Mikepritës” because it contains the Albanian word for "hospitality" and because, according to him, his main job is to make our guests forget what place they called home before they came at Bistro Illyrian. He has a gift for attention to details. He is passionate and love his work.